Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Reasoned Request, or Veiled Threat? Holder's Letter Requesting Executive Privilege

Today, as has been covered in many places, Attorney General Eric Holder requested that President Barack Obama invoke Executive Privilege so that Mr. Holder could refrain from providing documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee.  The President granted that request, in essence taking ownership of Operation Fast and Furious (Watergate did not have a body count).

You can find the letter here.

No fewer than six times does Mr. Holder mention the 1974 case US v Nixon.  For those who believe history started in 1980, that was the case wherein Nixon attempted to shield documents relating to the Watergate break-in (which did not have a body count) from Congressional Review.  Nixon lost.

Now, I'm not a lawyer, and I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn last night, but I'm pretty sure it's not normal to cite a case where the argument that supports your position is the side that lost.  You would think Mr. Holder would have sought a precedent that supported his position where his position won.

Now, this makes me think two things.  First: there is no such precedent, and Executive Privilege should not have been invoked.

More important, though, I wonder about Mr. Holder's motives.  First, his reasoning in his letter is rambling and barely coherent.  It tries to use lies already debunked about Operation Fast and Furious, which, unlike Watergate, has a body count of at least 302.  Also, as mentioned, it frequently references US v Nixon.

So, why?  Why that case?  Why use one of the most infamous cases of scandal in US History?

At this point, I go into wild speculation- I have no evidence to back this up, I could be far wrong here.  But I'm a blogger, so I get to speculate wildly.  So there.

I'm pretty well convinced that Barack Obama knew about Operation Fast and Furious from the beginning.  In fact, I'm pretty sure he signed off on it before it began.  I think he's neck-deep in this.

I think Eric Holder was not so much requesting Executive Privilege as threatening the President.  "See," the letter says, "The last time this happened, the President resigned in disgrace.  Do you think you'll be allowed merely to resign?  No, if I go down, you're going with me, so you'd better do everything you can to make sure I don't go down."

Remember, it was his loss in US v Nixon that lead Nixon to resign as President.  I believe that the documents will show exactly how involved Barack Obama was, and that he'll be lucky if all that happens is that he has to resign.

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